Opinion

Re: Word on the Web (4/17/12) and Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor,   I was reading the latest issue of the Temple News this morning, and quite frankly, I was taken aback at the Community section, specifically “Letter to the Editors” and the “Word on the Web.” First on the page is Word on the Web, and a comment that starts out “Palestinians are a… Read more »

Dear Editor,

 

I was reading the latest issue of the Temple News this morning, and quite frankly, I was taken aback at the Community section, specifically “Letter to the Editors” and the “Word on the Web.”

First on the page is Word on the Web, and a comment that starts out “Palestinians are a miserable and pathetic people.” The segment boasts “Unedited for content,” which is abundantly obvious, because clearly no discretion was taken or even a second thought given before publishing that. Was the idea to capture the shock value of such a vile comment? The author didn’t even put his or her real name down to take credit for that racist diatribe, so it’s incomprehensible why the paper would want to be connected to it. There’s a point at which the ability to hold and promote any abhorrent opinion you wish hits a wall of common decency and allowing your paper to be used to spew hate speech is irresponsible and contemptible.

Continuing on that count, the Letter to Editor by Alvaro Watson, the President of the Students for Intellectual Freedom, is just as guilty. A helpful hint for the future: If someone begins a statement with “I’m not a racist, but…” or anything along those lines, they’re probably about to say something bigoted. Unsurprisingly, the letter turned into nothing more than a lengthy assault on Muslims and Islam. He mistakes a refusal to be “politically correct” as a license for discrimination and ignorance.

In typical right-wing fashion, he speaks ominously about the threat of Sharia Law and drones on about how extreme Islam is. Maybe he just didn’t realize that judging an entire people by the actions of a few is unacceptable, but something tells me he’s aware of this. You could certainly find other groups to demonize using the same criteria that Watson finds convincing. Anders Behring Breivik killed 69 people in Norway last year, most of them teenagers. He is a Christian who killed in the name of Islamophobia, nationalism and Christianity. Does that make all Christians dangerous extremists? I’ll go ahead and answer that: No, it doesn’t. And it’s despicable to suggest that all the members of any group are dangerous and deserve to be discriminated against because of the actions of others like them. It flies in the face of the ideals this country was built on, and listening to Watson is certainly not how to “defend the American soul.”

In the future, The Temple News should not let itself become an outlet for animus like it has in this issue. Providing your readers with a forum for their thoughts and opinions is noble, but giving a soapbox to charlatans’ hateful rhetoric is not.

 

Sincerely,

 

Matthew Miller

Political Science, 2014

 

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10 comments on “Re: Word on the Web (4/17/12) and Letter to the Editor

  1. Anonymous on said:

    Aside from the nerd language, big ups!!!

  2. Eric on said:

    I’m not a racist, but…well I’m actually not going to say something racist but it may be something that Matthew does not want to hear. First, using phrases like “In typical right-wing fashion” reveals your bias and shows your argument is based on a political agenda and is not meant for the betterment of both sides to end the spewing of “hate speech” as you claim. Your entire letter is full of hate speech directed at Alvaro and Temple University Students for Intellectual Freedom.

    My second contention with your letter is that you claim “that judging an entire people by the actions of a few is unacceptable.” While that statement in itself is true about judging people, it does not apply to how Sharia Law was described in either Alvaro’s letter or the Islamic Apartheid event. There was an event last night in which protestors “occupied” seats and prevented people who actually wanted to see the event from getting inside. After about five minutes, the protestors staged a walk-out. The protestors DID NOT listen to the other side of the debate. I believe that you are guilty of the same ignorance that was prevalent in that crowd. When Islamic texts and leaders consistently preach hate that is taught to every generation in the Middle East, the institutionalized hatred is no longer the “actions of a few.” The actions of one person, such as Anders Behring Breivik as you mention, are incomparable to the actions of entire governments and religious institutions. In no way did any of the speakers, including Alvaro, state that all Muslims are “bad.” The discussion was about the inherent inequality of women, gays, and different races as promoted in Islam, and particularly in Sharia.

    While I appreciate your First Amendment right to free speech, please make informed, FACTUAL statements. You should especially follow this protocol if you attempt to publicly defame a person or organization as it is illegal to slander someone.

    Sincerely,

    Eric Cedor

    Treasurer, Temple University Students for Intellectual Freedom

  3. Arafat on said:

    Matthew, I amay be an Islamophobe but you’re a dilletante.

    ^^^^^^^^^^^

    The Muslim Game:

    Bringing other religions down to the level of Islam is one of the most popular strategies of Muslim apologists when confronted with the spectacle of Islamic violence. Remember Timothy McVeigh, the Oklahoma City bomber? How about Anders Breivik, the Norwegian killer? Why pick on Islam if other religions have the same problems?

    The Truth:

    Because they don’t.

    Regardless of what his birth certificate may or may not have said, Timothy McVeigh was not a religious man (in fact, he stated explicitly that he was agnostic and that “science” was his religion). At no time did he credit his deeds to religion, quote Bible verses, or claim that he killed for Jesus. His motives are very well documented through interviews and research. God is never mentioned.

    The so-called “members of other faiths” alluded to by Muslims are nearly always just nominal members who have no active involvement. They are neither inspired by, nor do they credit religion as Muslim terrorists do – and this is what makes it a very different matter.

    Islam is associated with Islamic terrorism because that is the association that the terrorists themselves choose to make.

    Muslims who compare crime committed by people who happen to be nominal members of other religions to religious terror committed explicitly in the name of Islam are comparing apples to oranges.

    Yes, some of the abortion clinic bombers were religious (as Muslims enjoy pointing out), but consider the scope of the problem. There have been six deadly attacks over a 36 year period in the U.S. Eight people died. This is an average of one death every 4.5 years.

    By contrast, Islamic terrorists staged nearly ten thousand deadly attacks in just the six years following September 11th, 2001. If one goes back to 1971, when Muslim armies in Bangladesh began the mass slaughter of Hindus, through the years of Jihad in the Sudan, Kashmir and Algeria, and the present-day Sunni-Shia violence in Iraq, the number of innocents killed in the name of Islam probably exceeds five million over this same period.

    Anders Breviek, who murdered 76 innocents in a lone rampage on July 25th, 2011, was originally misidentified as a “Christian fundamentalist” by the police. In fact, the killings were later determined to be politically motivated. He also left behind a detailed 1500 page manifesto in which he stated that he is not religious, does not know if God exists, and he prefers a secular state to a theocracy. Needless to say, he does not quote any Bible verses in support of his killing spree, nor did he shout “praise the Lord” as he picked people off.

    In the last ten years, there have been perhaps a dozen or so religiously-inspired killings by people of all other faiths combined. No other religion produces the killing sprees that Islam does nearly every day of the year. Neither do they have verses in their holy texts that arguably support it. Nor do they have large groups across the globe dedicated to the mass murder of people who worship a different god, as the broader community of believers struggles with ambivalence and tolerance for a radical clergy that supports the terror.

    Muslims may like to pretend that other religions are just as subject to “misinterpretation” as is their “perfect” one, but the reality speaks of something far worse.

  4. Arafat on said:

    Matthew, I am proud to be an Islamophobe like this man:

    ^^^^^^^

    Richard Dawkins says it outright. One wonders why so few other atheists are speaking out in the same way. Note that he does not hasten to qualify his comment by saying, “Islamic extremism” or “radical Islam.”

    Dawkins: “I’m reasonably optimistic in America and Europe. I’m pessimistic about the Islamic world. I regard Islam as one of the great evils in the world, and I fear that we have a very difficult struggle there.”
    Narrator: “Why is it more problematic than Christianity, for instance?”

    RD: “There is a belief that every word of the Koran is literally true, and there’s a kind of closemindedness which is, I think, less present in the former Christendom, perhaps because we’ve had long – I don’t know quite why – but there’s more of a historical tradition of questioning. There are people in the Islamic world who simply say, ‘Islam is right, and we are going to impose our will.’ There’s an asymmetry. I think in a way we are being too nice. I think that it’s possible to be naively overoptimistic, and if you reach out to people who have absolutely no intention of reaching back to you, then you may be disillusioned.”

  5. Arafat on said:

    Matthew, I am proud to be an Islamopobe like these men:

    ^^^^^^^

    John Quincy Adams on Islam

    “The precept of the Koran is, perpetual war against all who deny, that Mahomet is the prophet of God. The vanquished may purchase their lives, by the payment of tribute; the victorious may be appeased by a false and delusive promise of peace; and the faithful follower of the prophet, may submit to the imperious necessities of defeat: but the command to propagate the Moslem creed by the sword is always obligatory, when it can be made effective. The commands of the prophet may be performed alike, by fraud, or by force.”

    John Wesley on Islam

    “Ever since the religion of Islam appeared in the world, the espousers of it…have been as wolves and tigers to all other nations, rending and tearing all that fell into their merciless paws, and grinding them with their iron teeth; that numberless cities are raised from the foundation, and only their name remaining; that many countries, which were once as the garden of God, are now a desolate wilderness; and that so many once numerous and powerful nations are vanished from the earth! Such was, and is at this day, the rage, the fury, the revenge, of these destroyers of human kind.”

  6. Arafat on said:

    Matthew writes, “In the future, The Temple News should not let itself become an outlet for animus like it has in this issue. Providing your readers with a forum for their thoughts and opinions is noble, but giving a soapbox to charlatans’ hateful rhetoric is not.”

    Matthew when truth becomes animus then one knows there’s trouble ahead.

  7. Arafat on said:

    Truth is treason in the temple of lies.

  8. firefox on said:

    Anyone on the side of the Muslims? Go and live in Muslim countries, enjoy yourselves, you morons. Enjoy hate-filled Jew/Christian-hating totalitarian misogynist evil Islam.

    Temple? What a moronic university. Anyone who teaches the leftist imbecile students there is a moron by definition.

  9. firefox on said:

    “Matthew Miller
    Political Science, 2014”

    You’re such a little frickin’ leftist moron. Go live in Yemen, that’s what you deserve. Enjoy yourself you little moron.

    Temple U has become nothing but a little haven for Islam-loving leftist morons.

  10. Arafat on said:

    I don’t hate all Muslims, nor do I think most Muslims wicked, but I do detest Islam through and through and consider all Muslims confused human beings. I have a right to think and say this in America because freedom exists here, which it doesn’t wherever Islam is the majority religion of a nation, ony the degree of a dearth of freedom being the variable from one Islamic country to another.

    Islam will always remain a death cult for a certain percentage of its followers when they don’t get their way. About no other major faith can this be said.

    Finally, Mohammed is one of the most despicable figures I have ever come across in history respecting the capacity of one person for malevolently influencing future history. Hitler and Marx are way up there too on the list. That’s the kind of company I put Mohammed with. And you should see the eyes open when I narrate Mohammed’s bloody and sexually perverted record to one who still knows very little about Mohammed. For anyone who has retained their common sense and moral intelligence, the more one knows about Islam and Mohammed the more that person is going to be disgusted by Islam and Mohammed. Count on it.

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